The fact that this question even piqued your interest is because there's been a divine deposit inside you. You have a calling to create! Like most of us Believers in Business (BIB) you are not sure why and likely not sure what business to start. You just feel certain that you need to start something.
Starting a business is a huge sacrifice as you take the risks to organize an enterprise with your capital in hopes of producing fruit for yourself and others in your life.
While it's rather obvious, many “want-trepreneurs” don't start on purpose with the full appreciation that they are the single most important and valuable asset in their business vision. Your life and your lifestyle matters! You must spend the time, and intellectual capital to develop a clear articulation of your purpose, your why, and your why this. Becoming an entrepreneur is difficult and costly.
Beginning with a clear, confident and counselled vision of the end is vital. Overwhelmingly most fail. Starting on purpose is essential to improving the odds of success. Many aspiring entrepreneurs begin with the journey with the idea that the thing that they love to do, and do well is the foundation for their business. We’ve learned that the best cake and pie baker does not necessarily make the best bakery operator. These are two very different jobs. Often one she loved, and the other she hated.
Here are 7 criteria to frame your choice of business
- Passion ( not enthusiam, but willingness to suffer)
- Customer (who specifically are you called to serve)
- Product Market Fit
- Lifestyle congruence
Many entrepreneurs successfully navigate their way through the first six. The seventh is often missed. In the BIB-LiFE academy we equip believers in Business (BIBs) to discover their fit with all 7.
Let’s drill down into Lifestyle Congruence
Starting and running a business need not cost you your fitness, family or faith. These key elements of your life can and should be enabled by your business. While most entrepreneurs accept that they will pay the cost of hard work, they often don't fully consider how even the successful business will fit their desired lifestyle. The BIB must hustle and trust Christ for the grace to live and work from rest. He died for us, so that we don’t need to give our lives for a business.
Choosing what kind of business to start should include a careful examination of the lifestyle requirements to make any business operation successful. Things like, what are the hours, days/week, travel required, commute, home or office, and work environment, should be carefully considered. For instance, if you choose a business in the food service and hospitality industry, you will always be working when everyone else is enjoying entertainment, celebrating, or taking leisure. Perhaps you are really called to that kind of service. Perhaps, you'd you'd rather be toasting it up vs. serving the toast. If you run a nightclub or bar, again, you will be working and needing to be at your best late into the morning and surrounded by a certain clientele. Is that the life you've dreamed of?
If you are a true extravert, like me, working solo as a content creator might be far too lonely an existence to spend the majority of your waking hours. A business that requires a team or a crowd might fit better for me. The converse is likewise true. A true introvert will not achieve optimal performance nor career satisfaction if she is overwhelmingly working in a crowd.
I have seen an example of woman starting a food service business only to learn that the everprecense of the basic ingredients inflamed her allergies. Then there was the guy with a great idea to to start a pressure washing business and had not imagined how the constant moisture, wet socks and clothing would make his life miserable. These are both extreme and perhaps rare instances. Yet, they illustrate the vital importance of thinking it all the way through. Ask yourself, "what will my life be like when you are working in the business?"
In one of my successful failures (more learning days than winning days) at entrepreneurship-a retail/commercial electronics franchise, I had the fortune of spending two days with the nation’s largest revenue operation like mine. Unfortunately, I didn't take this tour until after I had launched my business. While I learned alot about how to run and grow the business profitably, I also observed that the lifestyle, even with good success, was not congruent with my lifestyle vision. The owner’s lifestyle was modest, he had a great reputation as a community servant, and had a few nice things like a brand new truck paid for by the business. However, his family worked in the business, the children had foregone college, and the only vacation that they got was to the annual National Franchise convention. Respectfully, I can’t judge whether it was better for his children to go to college or not, and I know that vacations are a luxury I am blessed to afford. Nevertheless, my family vision has an well-founded commitment to education, and we have made family vacations a main ingredient to our memory making and our “work hard-play hard, learn, earn and give in return'' way of life. Bottom line is the real-life image of success in that business was not congruent with my family vision.
I wish I had seen this before I started! I, like many entrepreneurs, believed I could stand up the business and work my way out of constant daily management. Some businesses, if not most, simply don’t afford that in reality. If you have that idea in your vision of success, it would be wise to go and benchmark the experience of those who have already done it.
The other 6 criteria are just as vital. We can help you to assess them, too. Maybe you can begin on purpose with the examination of lifestyle congruence before you model your business.
I hope this is helpful for you to choose the right business that you are called to create!